So, perhaps you have seen those round, green “Eat More Kale” stickers … No? Maybe you don’t live in the right state …
Well, the fellow that makes them, Bo, runs a small tee shirt design & print shop in Vermont. I won’t tell his story, but Bo is not big time by any means. Running a small shop, traveling around to music festivals, selling tee shirts and stickers …
When Bo applied for a trademark, Chick-fil-A claimed infringement on their trademark “Eat Mor Chikn” (note, not “eat more factory farmed processed chicken by-product”, which would actually be accurate).
Now, you wouldn’t think people would confuse Kale with Chicken. And, it difficult, if not impossible, to mistake round green stickers on rusted out Vermont Subarus with neon signs over the food court in the mall, especially as there are no Chick-fil-a’s in Vermont. And most people with a third grade education can correctly distinguish a misspelled slogan, no matter how cute, from a properly spelled one.
Even so, this multibillion dollar corporation insists that it has to “defend our trademarks to protect our slogan”.
Here a link to a piece that appeared in the times about the case last December about the case.
Despite an outpouring of public support for Bo, and the patent ridiculousness of the claim, Chick-fil-a is pressing on with the suit. To raise awareness Vermont filmmaker and playwright Jim Lantz is producing a documentary on Bo and the lawsuit.
Titled “A Defiant Dude”, the film will tell the story of corporate bullying and harassment. In situations like this, most small businesses unable to match the endless resources of these corporate aggressors, just give up. Bo is not going to.
And, unlike some films, at this point we don’t know the ending. As Bo says “If I win, it’s a great story; if I loose it’s a sad story. Either way Jim and I think it is a story worth telling”
If you would like help – and live out your lifelong dream of helping produce a smash hit film – now is your chance. Simply go to the project page on Kickstarter and become an early funder (just so you know, I am in). Every funder gets something – from stickers and tee shirts to credit in the film – regardless of amount.
This is not a charity. It is a chance for us to pool our funds and push back against corporate bullying.
See you at opening night …